To understand why the Senate voted today to reject a bipartisan deal on gun control, despite emotional -- and heavily broadcast appeals -- by parents of children gunned down in the Newtown, Conn. massacre, it helps to take a look at the influence profiles of groups on both sides of the debate.
Although Mayors Against Illegal Guns, one of the groups pressing for stricter regulation of firearms, dominated the airwaves in the weeks leading up to the vote, groups opposed to such measures have spent far more money over a far longer period of time to win friends and intimidate people on ...Continue reading
As the Senate opens debate on gun control after a last-minute bipartisan deal, a review of legislation now before state lawmakers gives a striking evidence of how difficult it will be to enact restrictions on firearms into law, even given the political momentum such measures have received following the December shooting tragedy that left 26 people -- most of them young children -- dead at the Sandy Hook elementary school at Newtown, Conn.
A review of nearly 1,500 firearms-related bills introduced in the 50 state legislatures since the beginning of the year by Sunlight reveals that the post-Newtown push for stronger ...Continue reading
Even as the National Rifle Association (NRA) announced a new push today to put armed guards in schools across the country, state lawmakers across the country are considering similar proposals. So far, legislation related to guns on school grounds has come up in at least three dozen states. The vast majority of these bills would make it easier for school personnel, guards, and volunteers to carry guns on campus, while a handful would toughen laws prohibiting firearms at schools.Continue reading
DENVER -- A group of Democratic state legislators here had barely concluded their press conference unveiling a broad package of gun control bills when an outspoken opponent threatened to make them pay in the next election.
"I think the question for the Democrat caucus is, are you really ready to stake the 2014 elections on the gun issue?" Dudley Brown, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, said to Colorado Public Radio last week. Brown and the group, whose motto is "don't give an inch," have been the source of $23,800 to Colorado politicians since 1996, according to a ...Continue reading
While the National Rifle Association (NRA) has claimed that membership surged in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in December, there did not appear to be any corresponding flood in contributions to the organization's political action committtee.
During the last weeks of December following the shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead, the NRA Political Victory Fund reported collecting just over $4,000 in itemized donations from individuals, mostly in low amounts from people who had already contributed to the group's warchest during the course of the year. Another $9,600 came in ...Continue reading
When Vice President Joe Biden travels to Richmond, Va. today to participate in a roundtable about gun violence, he'll be visiting a state where the legislature largely has beaten back proposals to regulate guns, and where politicians have gotten $2.2 million in support from gun rights groups over the past two decades.
Most of that money—$2 million—came from the National Rifle Association, according to Sunlight Foundation's Influence Explorer. By contrast, groups that support stronger restrictions on guns, such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, reported spending a mere $183,000 in Virginia over ...Continue reading
(Updated 1/19 7:25 a.m.)
Following a New York newspaper's controversial decision to publish the names and address of local gun owners, state legislators are moving to make such information private, even as a Sunlight Foundation analysis shows that in a majority of states, the data are already off the public record.
Forty states plus the District of Columbia do not make data available about who owns a gun or has received a state permit to carry a gun, according to Sunlight's examination of state gun laws. There are ten states that do make data available ...Continue reading
As Congress grapples with the measures the White House today proposed to combat gun violence--including a ban on assault weapons, strengthing background check laws, and enhancing mental health services--there will be dozens of gun rights lobbyists at the ready, most of them paid by the National Rifle Association. Many have been through Washington's revolving door.
In 2012, gun rights groups hired ten outside lobbying firms to help bolster their reach, according to Influence Explorer. Over all, 42 lobbyists, of whom at least more than half are revolvers, including one former member of Congress, helped spread gun rights' groups message ...Continue reading
On a March morning in 2002, the ink of President George W. Bush's signature on the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill hardly had a chance to dry before the attorneys for the National Rifle Association filed the paperwork for a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law.
In fact the NRA's lawyers were so quick on the draw that the group beat the law’s strongest congressional opponent, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to court. Because it filed first, the NRA had earned the naming rights to the high profile case. However, the NRA, which had backed McConnell, himself ...Continue reading